The power of returns

A little over a week ago I bought a new bike. It was the first new bike I had bought in over 15 years and I was very excited. As I rode it to test its size I realized it was too small. For the price I paid I need to have a bike that fits.

But I had bought the bike online from a company based in another country! Certainly the return process would be a pain in the butt? Shipping a 30 pound bike back without it getting damaged would be impossible right?

Wrong. I called the company on Monday morning to start the return process. There was zero friction about the return since it was within 30 days. They emailed me a shipping label and I went to my local shipping store. The lady at the store was surprised at the level of shipping label they had given me. I took that as a good sign and left the bike to be sent back.

3 days later the company had my bike and had refunded my purchase. I don’t know how it could have gone any better.

One problem is that they are out of stock of the size bike I need. The good news is that there is currently snow on the ground so I am not missing out too much. I still have my old bike and can go plenty fast on it. Also I don’t really need a full suspension bike. I am thinking of getting a hardtail.

I know that free returns are not great for the environment. For the most part we do not return much of our online purchases. In this case the purchase was quite large and the bike simply did not fit. The process was made very simple by the company.

Calling them was a little bit of an annoyance. Would it have made that much of a difference to let me click on a button on the website? I understand that they are not excited about getting a return. I wonder if they are able to sell that bike as new or if it has to be sold as refurbished?

What was also odd was that I mentioned buying another bike to replace this return but the person on the phone didn’t care about that at all. While they did not have my size for the exact model there is one that is cheaper. If the rep on the phone had mentioned that they could send out the new one right away I may have made the purchase on the spot.

Kate and I did get in a 1 hour ride into town and back on Saturday on the road. I think the high was 34F.


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